US 20080091535 A1
The subject personalized consumer advertising/ad placement system provides the ability for advertisers, ad agencies, and any other applicable organization to determine and electronically present their “ideal” consumer profile and have their advertisement/promotion placed in front of all consumers who match the profile based on the anonymous mining of the consumers actual spending across a broad base of spending categories.
1. A method for selectively delivering advertising to a set of consumers associated with a financial institution wherein the financial institution has records of financial expenditure activity of the consumers, including:
warehousing the financial records from the financial institution with an advertising delivery provider;
generating a market segment of consumers to receive a targeted advertising;
querying the warehoused financial records to identify consumers matching the market segment;
identifying a consumer who has logged on to a web site;
matching the consumer to the market segment; and
delivering the targeted advertising to the consumer for display on the web site.
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13. An internet advertising delivery system comprising:
a first interface configured to receive input used to define a market segment;
a database storing anonymous consumer identifications associated with financial information received from financial institutions, each anonymous consumer identification being associated with a respective consumer of at least one of the financial institutions, each anonymous consumer identification also being associated with the financial information of the consumer;
a processor including software configured to receive the input used to define the market segment and to query the database with the input to return anonymous consumer identifications matching the defined market segment based on the financial information of the consumers stored in the database; and
a second interface configured to receive and to display advertisements directed to consumers that are within the market segment.
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20. An internet communication system comprising:
a first interface configured to receive input defining a market segment;
a database storing anonymous customer identifications associated with financial information received from financial institutions, each anonymous customer identification being associated with a respective customer of at least one of the financial institutions, each anonymous customer identification also being associated with the financial information of the customer;
a processor including software configured to receive the input used to define the market segment and to query the database with the input for finding anonymous customer identifications matching the defined market segment based on the financial information of the customers stored in the database;
an internet communicator for sending the communication to the customers matching the defined market segment; and
a second interface configured to receive and to display the communication.
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This application claims priority to application Ser. No. 60/849,156 filed Oct. 2, 2006, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.
The present embodiments relate generally to the collection of consumer financial transaction expenditure data for mining according to defined criteria provided by advertisers, ad agencies, and other applicable organizations. In particular, the embodiments relate to data architecture and processing, and a database solution that will ultimately deliver personalized advertising/ads to consumers based on the financial history of the consumer while protecting the consumer's anonymity.
As a result of the mined financial data, advertisements/promotions will be electronically routed to potential and in some cases current customers of a marketer/advertiser for their viewing. Consumers matching a desired profile for an advertisement campaign will view the targeted advertisements/promotions when they sign on to their account at a financial institution or when they log on to a web site that subscribes to the system.
2. Description of Related Art
Advertisers are constantly searching for more efficient means to allow their products/services to be advertised to consumers who have a need for their products/services or who are currently spending money on similar products/services with a competitor. In essence, advertisers are constantly faced with finding the consumer who is “ready” to purchase their products/services, “able” to complete the purchase of their products/services, and “willing” to purchase the products/services immediately (“RAW”). With the advent of newer technologies such as Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and On Demand TV, advertisers fear the loss of traditional means of advertising to consumers.
Current options for electronic web based advertising are very costly and yield limited results. To reach an acceptable number of consumers to advertise their products/services advertisers must run campaigns, which reach masses of people but only yield single digit return in consumer interest and purchases. For example out of 100 consumers who see an advertiser's campaign/ad, only 3-5 may be RAW. Despite their best efforts, current consumer advertising methods remain very costly and yield a minimal return for the amount of investment.
One problem with present online advertising is called a shotgun approach. In this approach, an advertiser/marketer buys a word that is typed into an internet search engine. When purchasing this word or phrase the marketer/advertiser is thinking, “based on this word I think that xx% might be interested in my product”. The problem is those words are very expensive. Internet advertisers are getting market rates such as between $5.00 and $10.00 per word per click to have a good placement on a web site per a single word or two word phrase. Moreover, the marketer/advertiser does not know whether the consumer who views their advertisement is RAW.
Marketers have been able to develop ways to maintain customers once they have initiated purchases via tracking of the consumers purchasing habits and trends. Special loyalty programs have been developed such as reward coupons and other incentives based on the amount, frequency, and trends of the consumers purchases. Other advertisers/on-line retailers such as Amazon.com profile the customers who actually visit their site. With Amazon, the consumer is profiled by the products they view and what they purchase while on the site. Amazon then tracks the consumer's habits of shopping and what they purchased so that when the consumer signs in at another time advertisements will immediately pop up with “suggested items” for the consumer to consider purchasing based on their previous actions and purchases with Amazon only. While these approaches are effective in maintaining already existing customers and motivating the consumer to purchase additional items, they fall short in their ability to secure additional customers from competitors who offer similar products/services. The current advertising methodologies are still unable to track actual consumer spending and trends outside of an already existing customer, i.e. based on a broad spectrum of actual financial transactions within the consumer's financial institution(s).
There is a need for a personalized advertising architecture/solution, which allows electronic transmissions of consumer financial transactions/expenditures or related data to be loaded and managed in a database of an advertising delivery provider for specifically targeted advertising/ad promotions.
Consumers are identified with their actual consumer financial expenditures so that they can be mined and sorted within a database according to specific advertising/ad criteria provided by marketers, advertisers, ad agencies, and other applicable organizations to match a desired consumer profile with consumers of such a profile. The subject personalized consumer advertising/ad placement system provides the ability for marketers, advertisers, ad agencies, and any other applicable organization to determine and electronically present their “ideal” consumer profile, or market segment, and have their advertisement/promotion placed in front of all consumers who match the profile based on the mining of the consumers actual spending across a broad base of financial transactions and other non-personal information. The ability to allow any advertisers/ad agencies regardless of business or specific merchant focus, the ability to “create” a “custom” profile for specific consumers within a certain market, within a geographical location, with a certain monthly income from the consumer's actual financial transactions within their financial institution(s) would be advantageous and unique compared to any technologies on the market today.
By way of introduction only, a personalized consumer advertising/ad architecture/solution may include the presentation of personal and targeted advertisements/promotions prepared by an advertiser, ad agency, or any other applicable organization, transferred electronically to a web site entered by the consumer for electronic review and response.
An embodiment of the personalized consumer advertising/ad architecture/solution enables non-personal consumer transaction data to be transferred electronically from any financial institution to an advertisement delivery provider's database. This financial data can consist of checking account transactions, credit card transactions, and loan information as well as any other purchase or financial transactions that may pertain.
The advertisement delivery provider will house all transactional data in its secure, industry compliant database (software and hardware). Each set of consumer transactions will be provided a key number by the financial institution as the data is passed to the advertisement deliver provider's database. This key number will be maintained by the financial institution to enable the mined data with the corresponding ads/promotions from the advertisers to be married back together with the consumer for placement on the consumer's computer after mining.
The advertisement delivery providers will interact with outside marketers, advertisers, ad agencies and other applicable organizations to secure their individual consumer advertising profiles for specific products/services to be advertised to consumers. The marketer, advertiser, ad agency, or other organizations will be able to provide the exact target consumer they would like to view their ad/promotion. An example might be a home improvement store which might establish a profile with the advertisement delivery providers to place a specific ad/promotion in front of all consumers within 20 miles of Cleveland, having spent over $500 in the past 6 months on home improvements, who engages in transactions with Lowes, Sears, Ace Hardware, and TrueValue, and who have a total income of over $8,000 per month. The advertisement delivery provider would then mine its database containing all of the financial transactions from multiple financial institutions only identifying those consumer accounts, which fit these specific criteria.
Pricing for the data mining provided by the advertisement delivery provider will vary based on the number of levels of segmentation the marketer, advertiser, ad agency, and other organizations may specify. The more targeted the consumer audience requested by an advertising organization, the more the cost to have the ad displayed will escalate. An example of costs would be the home improvement scenario used above. There were four levels of criteria specified and each level cost $1.00, thus the total cost would be $4.00 to the advertiser for every ad opened by the targeted consumer. Also, the pricing can be determined as whether an advertisement has simply been displayed, or whether an advertisement has been displayed and clicked.
Through the use of the personalized consumer advertising/ad architecture/solution, consumers will be able to see new promotions and ads every time they sign in to their on-line financial institution web account as well as when they surf to web sites not affiliated with a financial institution. Consumers can be flagged unobtrusively as they enter these sites as to how many new ads/promotions have been provided to them since their last sign in.
The advantage of the personalized consumer advertising/ad architecture/solution is that only ads/promotions appearing for the consumer can be for services/products they are currently spending their money on, or have an immediate interest in, across all categories of purchase. Consumers may receive ads/promotions, which have discounts at retail stores, restaurant coupons, special promotions and rebates on automobiles etc. to name a few of the types of ads/promotions.
A second advantage of the invention is the ability for the advertisement delivery provider to create an electronic bridge from the financial institution to the advertiser for the benefit of the consumer. The financial institution can now provide an additional service offering by placing ads, promotions, and coupons directly in front of a consumer for not only the things they have interest in but in addition are purchasing currently.
A third advantage is that the consumer remains anonymous to the advertiser, despite seemingly having a direct communication from the advertiser upon the consumer's signing on to the financial institution's web site. If the consumer chooses to ignore the advertisement (no click) then the advertisement may expire after a selected time-out or upon the completion of the advertising campaign.
The foregoing summary is provided only by way of introduction. All features, benefits, and advantages of the personalized consumer advertising/ad architecture/solution may be realized and obtained by instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the claims. Nothing in this section should be taken as a limitation on the claims, which define the scope of the invention.
The subject development is also applicable to the other entities or financial institutions who maintain personalized web sites in association with customers' financial data, such as insurers, investment counselors, brokers or the like.
The following is a description of a system and a method for delivering targeted advertisements to consumers over a network, such as the Internet or similar integrated network. An example of such a system will be described so that one can make the system; however, the embodiments, which are defined by the appended claims, are not limited to only the system described below. With reference to
The marketers 10 are companies or individuals who wish to deliver an advertisement to the consumers 14. More particularly, the system allows marketers 10 to deliver advertisements to consumers who are ready, able and willing (RAW) to buy the products or services offered by the marketer. The consumers 14 are also customers of at least one of the financial institutions that share information within the system. The financial transactional history of the consumers, which is provided by the financial institutions, is used to define a market segment that will receive targeted advertisements over the network. The financial institutions 12 can include banks, savings and loans, credit unions, retailers and the like. The third party advertisement presenters 16 operate web sites that are not affiliated with the any of the financial institutions (or are unsecure web sites that are operated by the financial institutions) that allow for the delivery of advertisements. The system is designed to maintain the anonymity of the consumers while allowing the marketers to have their advertisements delivered to consumers who fall within their defined market segment.
Generally the system includes a secure database 20 (or a plurality of secure databases) that is/are operated by the financial institutions 12. The financial institution secure database 20 stores, or warehouses, the financial transactions (and other financial information) of the customers of the financial institution along with other non-financial information. These financial transactions can include the debits and credits of the customers of the bank, the loans that are held by the bank for that customer, credit/debit card transactions and the like. The other information about the customer that is stored in the financial information secure database 20 includes information such as the identity of the customer, the age and sex of the customer and the home zip code of the customer. This customer information is associated with a unique customer identification code (UCIC) that associates the customer to the information while still maintaining the anonymity of the customer. By anonymity is meant that the information communicated to the advertising delivery provider precludes the provider from knowing who the consumer really is so that the “cookie” presented to the consumer is anonymous. Accordingly, the UCIC can be referred to as an anonymous coding. For example, the UCIC is not based on the name, address or social security number of the customer, which could lead to the identity of the customer becoming known. The UCIC is tied to the financial transactions of the customer, the age and sex of the customer, and the zip code of the customer; however, more personal information, such as the social security number, phone number, credit card numbers and the name of the customer, is not associated with the UCIC, thus protecting the identity of the customer.
The system also includes a secure database 22 that is operated by advertisement delivery provider. This database 22 associates the UCIC with the information that is similar to that stored in the financial institutions databases. The advertisement delivery provider database 22 stores, or warehouses, the financial information and other non-personal information that it receives from a number of different financial institutions. The advertisement delivery provider database 22 also associates an advertisement delivery identification code (ADIC) and a financial institution identification code (FIIDC) for each individual customer stored in its database and associates these codes with the UCIC that is provided by the financial institution database. The ADIC is unique to each customer stored in the database. The FIIDC is associated with the financial institution that has the provided the customer information for the unique customer. Since the UCIC maintains the anonymity of the consumer to which it is matched, the ADIC and the FIIDC also maintain that anonymity of the consumer because no personal information is matched to these codes. Accordingly, the UCIC and the FIIDC can also be referred to as anonymous codings.
The system 8 also includes a first interface 24, or portal, which will be referred to as a non-consumer portal, that allows marketers 10, financial institutions 12 and third party advertisement presenters 16 to communicate with the advertisement delivery provider database through a processor 26, which runs system software and is operated by the advertisement delivery provider. The system further includes a second interface 28, which will be referred to as a consumer portal, through which consumers 14 will receive targeted advertisements based on non-personal information that is known about the individual consumer who has logged onto the consumer portal 28.
Generally, the method for delivering targeted advertisements to consumers includes a marketer 10 defining a market segment, a financial institution 12 providing a base of customers from which the market segment can be drawn, and an entity (the advertisement delivery provider) that delivers advertisements to consumers that are within the defined market segment. A market segment is group of people or entities that share one or more characteristics that cause them to have similar product needs. A method for delivering targeted advertisements to consumers will be described in detail so that one skilled in the art can practice the method; however, the order in which the steps of the method are practiced can deviate from the order in which they are depicted in the FIGURES.
With continued reference to
At 102, market segment order data is batched with other market segment order data that has been received from other marketers or with market segment order data that has been received from the same marketer requesting advertisements be delivered to a different market segment. The market segment data is batched in the advertisement delivery provider database 22 (
At 104, the site (or sites) that is/are to present the advertisement approves or disapproves of the advertisement(s) that are to be delivered on its site. Typically, the site where the advertisement is to be presented is the secure web site where the financial institution's customer performs transactions over the network (e.g. the financial institution's secure web site). Nevertheless, the site where the advertisement is to be delivered can also include unsecure web sites (e.g. cnn.com, espn.com and the like). If the advertisement is not approved, then at 106 the marketer is informed of this decision and can also be given the reason for the disapproval of the advertisement. More description of the process involved in approval of the advertisement is described at
If the advertisement is approved by at least some of the operators of web sites that are to display the advertisements, than at 108, the order data is processed to determine the customers who fall within the market segment. The advertisement delivery provider database 22 (
The ADIC also designates the customer, however, this identification is assigned by the software of the system, which is operated by the advertisement deliver provider as opposed to by the financial institutions. The ADIC is most useful when the consumer logs onto a web site other than a secure web site operated by one of the financial institutions that is operating within the system. The ADIC provides an identification of the consumer that can be linked back to the UCIC and the financial information that is associated with the UCIC. When a consumer logs onto a secure financial institution's web site, which will be described in more detail below, the UCIC, which has been assigned by the financial institution, is already known because the financial institution knows the identity of its customer. However, the financial institution does not share the “true identity” (the “true identity” being an identifying characteristic that would allow the identity of the customer to be known to the advertisement deliver provider). Instead the financial institution only provides the UCIC to the advertisement delivery provider which as discussed above is not traceable back to the financial institution's customer's identity. Accordingly, the financial institution is providing a database of anonymous customers each having a different financial history. Thus only the financial transactions (and other non-identifying information) of the customer are known to the advertisement delivery provider.
At 108, the database is queried to determine which customers meet the criteria of the market segment to determine the expected success of the campaign. For the sports car example mentioned above, the database is queried to determine which consumers pay over $450 per month for a car. During processing, the expected campaign success and the time it will take the advertisement to meet a predetermined number of the consumers can also be reported to the marketer. For example, where the marketer defines the market segment very narrowly only a few consumers may meet the criteria and the likelihood for success of the advertising campaign is also low or will involve an unacceptable length of time before the number of targeted consumers will receive the advertisement. The number of consumers that meet the criteria of the segment can aid in determining how many consumers will receive the advertisement that is sent out. This will be described in more detail with reference to
At 112 a report is generated that is sent to the marketer via the first portal 24 (
At 114, the marketer is asked whether it wishes to place an order for advertisements to be delivered.
With reference back to how the market segment is defined (100 in
At 122 the marketer is presented with a screen that asks the marketer to select the item or service that is to be the subject of the advertisement that the marketer wishes to be delivered to consumers. In the example that is discussed above, the marketer may enter “cars” or “sports cars.”
At 124, the marketer is then prompted to input the desired number of views or clicks of its advertisement that it wishes to obtain. A view is simply a posting of the advertisement on a web site that is viewed by the consumer. A click is when the consumer clicks on the advertisement and is taken to another web site, which is typically operated by the marketer, or an agent of the marketer, and further information can be provided about the service or product that is the subject of the advertisement.
At 126 the price that the marketer will pay for the advertisement to be displayed or clicked on the consumers portal 26 (
At 128 the marketer will then be asked whether it wishes to be assisted in defining a market segment for its product or service or whether it wishes to define the market segment without assistance. If the marketer does not desire assistance in defining the market segment, for example the marketer is knowledgeable of the customers who desire its products, then at 132 the marketer is provided with additional criteria by which it can define the market segment. For example, at 132 the marketer can be presented with a grab bag of options to further define the market segment, examples of which include customers who have a current car payment that is within a certain monetary range, customers of a particular sex, customers of a particular age, customers who live in a particular zip code, etc. The grab bag of options may also include criteria that does not correlate exactly to the data stored in either the financial institution data base or the advertisement delivery provider database. For example, the grab bag could include such options: a range of money that the consumer allocates to entertainment, the amount of money spent on travel and other similar criteria. For these aforementioned criteria, the software operating on the system can be designed to calculate the entertainment budget of the customer by adding the monthly transactions of the customer such as movie tickets, concert tickets, sport events, dining, etc. Additionally, the software may factor that some of these purchases may also be in cash, which would not show up as a financial transaction in either database, and account for this by adding some percentage of the monthly total to the customer's budget. The budget can be averaged over a time period, e.g. year. At 134 the price of the advertisement is then recalculated with each additional criterion that is chosen by the marketer. The price is then displayed on the web site. The more criteria that is selected by the marketer to define the market segment, typically the higher the price of the advertisement.
If the marketer wishes to be assisted in defining a market segment for its product or service, then at 136 the product or service that is the subject of the advertisement is filtered by way of a taxonomy analysis. The taxonomy analysis classifies the good or service that is the subject of the advertisement. Based on the classification of the good or service that is the subject of the advertisement, questions are presented to the marketer to aid in defining the market segment at 138. For example, if the subject of the advertisement is a car, then the marketer can be prompted to decide whether it wishes to deliver advertisements to consumers who have paid 33 monthly installments on a car lease, which is an indication that the lease is about to expire. Another example would be if the subject of the advertisement is a home mortgage refinance product, the marketer can be prompted to decide whether it wishes to deliver advertisements to consumers who originated a mortgage in a certain year (for example, a year in which interest rates were known to be higher than they are at the time that the advertisement will be delivered). After the marketer has answered each question, which further defines the market segment, the price of the advertisement is displayed at 134 as a function of the criteria chosen by the market (by way of answering the questions).
At 152, if the marketer has been preapproved by the web site operator that will display the advertisement, then the advertisement is automatically approved and placed in a queue of advertisements that are waiting to be viewed by customers who log onto the operator's web site and who are within the market segment that has been defined by the marketer. The queue of advertisements can be stored in the advertisement delivery provider database 22 (
If the marketer has not been preapproved by the web site operator, then at 156 the advertisement delivery provider determines whether the marker is a marketer or a classification of marketer that is always disapproved by the operator of the web site. If the marketer is a marketer or is in a classification that is always disapproved by the web site operator, then a report is generated, at 106 on
If marketer is not always disapproved, then the advertisement is viewed by the web site operator at 158. The web site operator can be sent the advertisement via e-mail or the web site operator can log onto a web site, which can be the non-consumer portal 24 in
With reference back to
With reference to
If the number of consumers is not too low, for example if the marketer desires 100,000 views of the advertisement and 75,000 consumers qualify for the market segment, then, at 204, the software of the system returns a report to the marketer that the advertising campaign should be successful. The report can include an estimate of the time it will take the advertisement to display the desired number of views of the advertisement. This information can be based on the number of consumers who have qualified for the market segment and the web surfing habits of the consumers in the market segment.
Moving to the consumer side of the advertisement delivery process, at 220 the consumer 14 (
After the consumer logs onto the financial institution's web site software that is running on the financial institution's web site, which is also part of the system 8 (
If the cookie is present or after the cookie has been stored on the consumer's computer, then at 226 the software queries the advertisement delivery provider database for defined market segments for advertising campaigns for which the customer qualifies. At 228, the software determines whether the customer qualifies for any market segments for advertising campaigns that are warehoused in the advertisement delivery provider database. If the customer does not belong to a defined market segment, then at 232 a non-targeted advertisement is displayed on the web site. If the customer belongs to a defined market segment, then at 234 a targeted advertisement can be displayed on the web site.
If the consumer belongs to a plurality of market segments, then a plurality of advertisements that correlate to the market segments can be delivered to the web site for display. As discussed above, the web site can display a tab that can be clicked to display all of the advertisements for which the consumer qualifies. Alternatively, the software can be designed to display only a few of advertisements that correlate to the market segments in which the customer resides. The software can be designed to deliver the advertisements for which the greatest price was paid by the marketer to have their advertisements displayed.
The consumer can also indicate to the institution that he/she is not interested in receiving any such advertisement and so the institution, or the delivery provider, will block the delivery of any advertisements to that consumer.
With reference to
Similar to the process defined with regard to
With reference to
A method and system for delivering targeted advertising has been described with reference to specific embodiments. Modifications and alterations will occur to those upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. The invention is not limited to only those embodiments described above. Instead, the invention is intended to cover all modifications and alterations that come within the scope of the appended claims and the equivalents thereof.